Equity and Academic Freedom: Policies and Procedures

  1. The department will invite staff from the Equity Office to our graduate program orientation each year.
  2. The department will facilitate occasional gatherings among interested women students and women faculty. It shall stress the importance of all faculty and students considering themselves members of a single academic community.
  3. An effort should be made to schedule academic meetings at times that do not preclude participation by faculty or students with family responsibilities. Whenever possible, the department should try to avoid scheduling graduate courses after 5:00 to accommodate common day care arrangements.
  4. Through discussion and the dissemination of statistics, the department will endeavour to promote comparable grading standards and workloads. Accordingly, the graduate and undergraduate advisors should distribute to faculty on an annual basis relevant summary statistics.
  5. The department will make a greater effort to prepare international graduate students for academic life at UBC through correspondence prior to their arrival. Advice will be solicited by the Graduate Program Committee from current faculty and graduate students with firsthand experience about the kinds of information that would be most useful to ease international students’ adjustments to Canadian academic life. Resources for International Students can also be found in UBC International Student Advising.
  6. ESL graduate students will be informed that the English Language Institute is willing to work with them upon their arrival to assess their writing and speaking skills. If a problem is identified, individuals may wish to defer their graduate studies to pursue language instruction, or proceed part-time while taking language course simultaneously.

The department  is  committed  to  promoting the principles described in the UBC Statement on Respectful Environment:

The University of British Columbia envisions a climate in which students, faculty and staff are provided with the best possible conditions for learning, researching and working, including an environment that is dedicated to excellence, equity and mutual respect. The University of British Columbia strives to realize this vision by establishing employment and educational practices that respect the dignity of individuals and make it possible for everyone to live, work, and study in a positive and supportive environment, free from harmful behaviours such as bullying and harassment.

Evaluation of students’ performance on written and oral assignments and examinations should be based solely on students’ performance and academic potential.

Accommodation of Academic Requirements

  1. As in the past, accommodation of academic requirements will be considered in response to students’ special circumstances arising from illness, disability, and religious observance.
  2. It is primarily the student’s responsibility to pay his/her own tuition and living expenses. However, accommodation of academic requirements will be considered in cases of unanticipated economic constraints.
  3. Accommodation will be considered in the event of special circumstances associated with parenthood and other family responsibilities. The department will be especially flexible toward either parent during the period of several months after a child is born.
  4. While additional faculty advising may be provided, deadlines for assignments or comprehensive exams will not be extended because a student is having academic difficulty.

Requests for accommodation of departmental program requirements will be evaluated by the Director of the Graduate Program, in consultation as needed with the student’s supervisor and the Graduate Program Committee. The Graduate Advisor will retain written records of each request and decision. Requests for accommodation of individual course requirements will be evaluated in the first instance by the faculty member teaching the course. Students’ requests for accommodation should be in writing whenever possible, as should the Department response.

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